Soldier in Höxter, Germany

By: usermattw

Dec 20 2017

Tags: , , ,

Category: Men


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Photo (3.25 x 6 inches) mounted to a cardboard frame/backing (approx. 5.25 x 8.5 inches).


What I know about it:

Photographer is Georg Gotthardt of Höxter, Germany.  Otherwise no information.



This is one of the photos my friend Jenn gave me this weekend.  A dashing figure in a relaxed pose.  A man of war seated on what looks like a tasseled bar stool next to a flowery credenza.  I wonder what he’s holding in his hand.  Something related to his soldiering?  Or papers indicating that he’s still a student who enlisted?  Or maybe even something like a sheaf of poetry to go with the flowery setting, reminding us of the romantic heart beating beneath the martial exterior?  Or maybe the photographer just thought the guy needed some papers to go with his glasses?  Who knows?  I’ve looked online a bit to try to understand what sort of uniform this is (Prussian? officer?), what color it is (blue? green?), and when this picture was taken (vaguely in the range of World War I?), but decided to just post it rather than continuing to delay while I searched for answers.  I did find other photos by this photographer (including men in uniform), but didn’t find any information that would narrow the date range, other than the award logo on the photo that indicates it’s no earlier than 1904.  Höxter is a small town in the middle of Germany.  “Wallpromenade 26” would be the address.  (There is currently a “Wallstraße” in Höxter, which would translate to Wall Street.  Was “promenade” changed to “street” at some point?)  And “Fernsprecher No. 250” would be the phone number, which I think is an unusual piece of information on a photo of this vintage.

5 comments on “Soldier in Höxter, Germany”

  1. Hello Matt,
    Höxter was and still is a garrison town. Wallpromenade means that the medieval fortifications had been turned into a park belt surrounding the old town. Since May 1860, Höxter hosted the 2. Bataillon, 6th Westphalian Infantery Regiment Nr. 55, and in April 1881, a Fusilier Bataillon. Your photograph shows a simple soldier in a pre-1914 uniform. Probably he was a military musician and holds a sheet of music as a sign of affiliation.

    • Hello, Günther. Thank you for all the information! Yes, I understood that the Wallpromenade was a path following the old wall, but I wasn’t sure if it coincides with the current Wall Street. (I was just wondering if it was possible to pinpoint the location of the old studio on a modern map.) I like your suggestion that he’s holding sheet music. That makes perfect sense. Happy New Year, Günther! -Matt

    • My reader Günther very kindly provided me with this vintage image, showing a soldier from Infantry Regiment No. 55, located in the same town as this photo studio, and to which our soldier here presumably belonged. Thank you, Günther! No. 55 soldier

  2. Here are another couple of refs (not specific to that town, though):

    and from this one, though this man is in fighting gear and your one isn’t, you can see the same type of jacket, buttons, belt, etc:

    I’m not a fan of German military photos from either war, but it is an interesting photo. He looks terribly young. From the way he’s holding the paper, I’d say it’s a studio prop… probably a brochure make up for photo shoots.

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